Design-build is a construction delivery process that contracts a single company to complete both the design and construction phases of the building process. In contrast to the design-bid-build process, which contracts separate companies, the design-build process is designed to reduce project risk, costs, and time by placing all responsibility in the hands of one company.
The design-build process simplifies construction projects by streamlining the process between the design and building phases of a project. By using one company for the entire design and construction phases of a project, you form a single point of contact and eliminate the bid stage from the traditional design-bid-build process. Either a general contractor or a design firm can lead a design-build project and in some cases, a partnership or joint venture is formed for the purpose of completing a design-build project. The design build contractor is the single source of responsibility for the quality of work on the project regardless of the nature of fault.
The Advantages of the Design-Build Construction Process
One major advantage to using the design-build construction process is to save money as a result of a reduced project schedule. Eliminating the formal bidding stage from the traditional building process (design-bid-build) significantly reduces the amount of time by completely removing the time consuming process of entertaining multiple bids, answering bid questions, and selecting a winning bid.
Another advantage of design-build construction is having a single point of responsibility throughout the design and construction phases often reduces risk. In the traditional design-bid-build process, the designer and the contractor have opposing interests. The design team is focused on the quality of the contractors work and ensuring their work conforms to project specifications. The contractor, however, is focused on finishing the project quickly and at the lowest possible cost. These opposing interests often lead to disagreements between the designer and contractor that lead to costly delays and sometimes litigation to determine where the fault lies.
Having a single point of responsibility also has the advantage of never putting the building owner between disagreements between the design team and the contractor. In the design-bid-build process, the building owner assumes the majority of the project risk by assuming the liability for design flaws. With a design-build contractor, they are the sole responsible party when it comes to design flaws or quality issues.
The design-build and design-bid-build construction delivery processes both have pros and cons. It is important to evaluate each method based on the type of construction (commercial, retail, municipal, federal, etc.) to determine which method is best for your next project. Bryan Construction has extensive experience working under either construction delivery process. We’ve been a trusted design-build contractor for a number of satisfied clients. Contact us today to learn more!